Mars’ Jezero Crater

A Martian Roundtrip: NASA’s Perseverance Rover Sample Tubes

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A technician working on the Mars 2020 mission takes a sample from the surface of sample tube 241 – to test for contamination. The image was taken in a clean room facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where the tubes were developed and assembled. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

By DC Agle
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Grey Hautaluoma / Alana Johnson
NASA Headquarters, Washington


Marvels of engineering, the rover’s sample tubes must be tough enough to safely bring Red Planet samples on the long journey back to Earth in immaculate condition.


The tubes carried in the belly of NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover are destined to carry the first samples in history from another planet back to Earth. Future scientists will use these carefully selected representatives of Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust) to look for evidence of potential microbial life present in Mars’ ancient past and to answer other key questions about Mars and its history. Perseverance will land at Mars’ Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021.

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